In what may be a sign of the times in the lives of African Americans, studies are finding that the direction of migration is reversing, as many Black folks are relocating to the South. For over a century, African Americans fled to the North to break free horrific treatment, find opportunity and secure an improved quality of life. Since 2000, however, Black folks have been emigrating to the from the urban hubs that once held the promise of the American Dream, to the land many of our great-grandparents left behind.

The Atlanta Post’s coverage of the Census Bureau’s findings reveals the growing migratory shift, which includes a massive decline in New Orleans by way of the destructive domino effects of Hurricane Katrina.

Top 5 Urban Centers on the Decline

 

New Orleans

↓95,539

 

Los Angeles

85,025

 

New York

67,709

 

Chicago

58,255

 

Detroit

37,603

 

Top 5 Urban Centers on the Rise

 

Washington D.C.

↑155,648

 

Miami

191,658

 

Houston

214,928

 

Dallas

233,890

 

Atlanta

473,493

 

 Source

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  • B

    Better life my a$$. “Better” is relative. As someone from “the South,” Little Rock, AR to be exact, I’m not going back (if I can help it) until I’m waaayy up in age (and that’s a big IF). The South might be a better life if you’re Christian, straight, like to go to church every Sunday, like to hear “Lord” or “Jesus” mentioned in nearly every conversation, and strongly dislike efficient public transportation. Yeah the winters my be milder and you might have a tad bit more yard space down there (and honestly, people generally keep it 100% real with you down there, which I appreciate), but….that just ain’t enough to make me trade some of the spiritual and mental freedom I find in the Northern cities, no matter how hard life can be up here sometimes.

    Personally, I don’t even feel it’s possible to be myself down home AT ALL. Being queer and non-religious (and remotely “different” or “bohemian” in any way) in the South is akin to being a leper. I’d rather grind up North in the major cities where the job market is huge and wide open, and where I can at least feel some comfort in my own bisexual, non-religious black skin around all my other queer and straight open-minded and/or non-religious black/brown friends. Just saying.

    I appreciate my roots, my home state (especially the great food), but the job market’s dismal and the living can be mighty rough for people who are “different” down there. I’ll pass. Hope some of the Northern transplants like it though. Good luck to them! I’ll be sure to buy up some of the property in their abandoned and currently gentrifying neighborhoods in the Northern cities.

    • justSayin..

      Don’t be like that B! It’s not the whole south. Little Rock just has a reputation for being arse backwards. There are some states that just needed be avoided period: Mississippi, Alabama, Tenn. South Carolina, Arkansas and parts of LA. Every other place is cool.

      Anyway, move here so WE can be together. :-)

    • Jaslene

      Damn B,
      Maybe its because its Little Rock but they are many great flourishing and gay friendly places in the South.

  • Simone

    I was raised in Southern California and then moved to Florida. Culture shock due to southern influences. Then I moved to NC, an even bigger shock with regards to racism (black/white, dark-skinned/light-skinned). Now some years later I have moved back to Southern California and now I find myself missing NC! I lived in NC long enough to be able to navigate the southern culture, however back in California the racial makeup has changed completely to a majority hispanic (mostly illegal immigrants) and minimal blacks. I’m giving thought now as to where I want to be….not sure if I want to go back down south though.